Christ our life is the foundation of the Kingdom of God and of new creation re-generation. But it’s an inconvenient truth to some. It could be that the idea of Christ our life is a threat to our worldview. Or it could be that we fear what will become of us and our identity/status if our ‘wineskin is disrupted. Either way, the acceptance of radical grace in the incarnation becomes such an “inconvenient truth” to parts of the ‘the body’ that, instead of living with and acting upon our inheritance, the truth is suppressed for the sake of a peculiar ‘truth’.
Any gospel founded on the law did not come from God.
Perceiving the truth that our ‘gospel’ is not the Gospel of the Kingdom, of Jesus or of Paul involves glimpsing the horrible reality that we may have invested much effort in a perversion of the Gospel leading to the crippling of thousands. We may resort to denial in order to defend ourselves against the inroads of life. Thus we spend much effort erecting rationalisations and fictions to maintain a ‘gospel’ that is no gospel at all because it maintains the era of the knowledge of good and evil. It maintains people in the captivity of the fall and unwittingly – because it is witless – suppresses the resurrection of humanity in order to maintain a highbred version of the fall.
‘As it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day."Romans 11.18 NIV.
In this mode we can live out our lives surrounded by truth tellers. But the truth makes little impact on our being. We live in the manner of a defence lawyer who clutches for post hoc rationalisations to defend an initial gut
instinct. We must immunise ourselves against it in order to defend one’s perceived identity. But its the identity of a slave rather than a son.
There can be variations of the gospel but some ‘gospels’ are not gospel at all.
This is why brow-beating those embedded in the law and religion is unlikely to succeed: their faculty of reason is impaired because it is motivated to defend itself from revising its beliefs. Sadly these very attempts encase them in a severe deficit of spiritual discernment and ever deeper into the haze of perverted belief.
Denial can deny climate change and denial can deny the spirit and life of the new covenant. Such denial represses knowledge of the real nature of the Kingdom of God, of the real nature of the Gospel and the stark truth of who we have become in the finished work of Christ. It’s denial that is the kind of denial that assumes belonging in the Body of Christ while denying the essence of Christ’s Gospel – that He is our life in every way. It leaves us with a gospel that we have distorted to fit our self-constructed identity and miserly perspective.
In the ancient punishment of the stocks, the prisoner was secured by rough beams while passers-by entertained themselves by pelting them with rotten fruit. In the case of the un-believing Believer the victims sits in his self-made stocks pelting the rotten fruit that is ‘other gospels’ at the truth-teller who would presume to set him free.
For the religionist, this repression occurs at both the
psychological level and social level, with the latter providing fodder for the former. This is a dismal scenario, but it shines some light on the way forward. Firstly the Believer needs to come to the cross; to die to self and to the ideas that leave Him in the wooden stocks of his own ideas. Secondly the Believer must relate to Jesus as Lord and repent of cultural myths that hide the reality of Christ and the reality of who we can become when He alone is our life.
ABBERATIONS OF DECAY
There is a great difference between the real gospel of the Kingdom and common distortions of it. God’s priority is to draw us into Himself, into His companionship, infinite life and joy. Righteousness is the result of this. Not a passport to it.
“Why did Jesus die? What is the meaning of His death? The simple answer is that God desires the human race. In a word, that God desires adoption. This is the end purpose of Jesus Christ’s death. It is not a legal transaction that fulfils the eternal purpose of God in the atonement, and it is not even the forgiveness of our sins. But rather, the sole purpose of the death of Jesus Christ is that we might become the sons and daughters of God. This is the fulfillment in time and space of what God has desired for mankind from all eternity. In the eternal election of Jesus Christ, God decided to adopt many sons and daughters in this one eternal Son.”
We are free to live in a law-shrunken scarcity mentality and call ourselves part of the body of Christ – which we are. But we are that part that is debilitated by the disease of miserliness that has us living as paupers instead of kings.
(1) Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News (pp. 96-97). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The first part of this post is a paraphrase of Political Researcher, David Hall.